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11.04.2011 17:04

US focus: Yen gains as Japan's latest quake cuts demand for higher-yielding assets

The yen gained Monday, rising from an 11-month low against the euro, after an aftershock of Japan’s March 11 earthquake discouraged demand for higher-yielding assets.
The dollar remained lower versus the yen as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said the gain in food and fuel costs doesn’t warrant a reversal of monetary stimulus.

The euro fell against the dollar on speculation the European Central Bank’s recent interest-rate increase may make it harder for nations including Ireland and Portugal to contain debt.
The euro has gained 8% against the dollar since the start of this year as improving economic growth in Germany and accelerating inflation boosted speculation that interest rates would be lifted.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and colleagues raised the main refinancing rate last week to 1.25% from a record low 1%, where it had been since 2009, and left the door open for further rate increases.
Portugal will start negotiations with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund this week on a rescue package estimated at 80 billion euros ($115 billion.)
The Dollar Index dropped 0.2% to 74.940 after falling on April 8 to as low as 74.838, the least since December 2009.
U.S. congressional leaders and President Barack Obama averted a government shutdown by reaching an agreement on April 8, less than two hours before the government’s funding authority was due to expire.

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